Twelfth Night

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Act 3 Scene 1

Cesario again urges Orsino’s suit to Olivia; Olivia again refuses. Olivia tells Cesario she loves him; he insists that he loves no woman. She will not give up.

  1. Enter CESARIO (VIOLA disguised as a man) and FESTE, playing a tabor.

  2. Cesario (Viola):

    Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live by thy tabor?

  3. Feste:

    No such matter sir, I do live by the church. For I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the church.

  4. Cesario (Viola):

    So thou mayst say the king lies by a beggar, if a beggar dwell near him, or the church stands by thy tabor, if thy tabor stand by the church.

  5. Feste:

    You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is but a cheveril glove to a good wit, how quickly the wrong side may be turned outward!

  6. Cesario (Viola):

    Nay, that’s certain. They that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton.

  7. Feste:

    I would therefore my sister had had no name, sir.

  8. Ceario (Viola):

    Why, man?

  9. Feste:

    Why sir, her name’s a word, and to dally with that word might make my sister wanton. But indeed words are very rascals since bonds disgraced them.

  10. Cesario (Viola):

    Thy reason, man?

  11. Feste:

    Troth sir, I can yield you none without words, and words are grown so false I am loath to prove reason with them.

  12. Cesario (Viola):

    I warrant thou art a merry fellow, and car’st for nothing.

  13. Feste:

    Not so sir. I do care for something: but in my conscience sir, I do not care for you. If that be to care for nothing sir, I would it would make you invisible.

  14. Cesario (Viola):

    Art not thou the Lady Olivia’s Fool?

  15. Feste:

    No indeed sir, the Lady Olivia has no folly. She will keep no fool, sir, till she be married, and Fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings — the husband’s the bigger. I am indeed not her Fool, but her corrupter of words.

  16. Cesario (Viola):

    I saw thee late at the Count Orsino’s.

  17. Feste:

    Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, it shines everywhere. I would be sorry sir, but the Fool should be as oft with your master as with my mistress. I think I saw your wisdom there.

  18. Cesario (Viola):

    Nay, an thou pass upon me, I’ll no more with thee. Hold, [Giving a coin.] there’s expenses for thee.

  19. Feste:

    Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard.

  20. Cesario (Viola):

    By my troth I’ll tell thee, I am almost sick for one, [Aside.] though I would not have it grow on my chin.

    [To FESTE.] Is thy lady within?

  21. Feste:

    Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?

  22. Cesario (Viola):

    Yes, being kept together and put to use.

  23. Feste:

    I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia sir, to bring a Cressida to this Troilus.

  24. Cesario (Viola):

    I understand you, sir. [Giving another coin.] ’Tis well begged. 

  25. Feste:

    The matter I hope is not great, sir; begging but a beggar: Cressida was a beggar. My lady is within, sir. I will construe to them whence you come. Who you are and what you would are out of my welkin. I might say “element,” but the word is overworn.

    He exits.

  26. Cesario (Viola):

    This fellow is wise enough to play the fool,
    And to do that well, craves a kind of wit.
    He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
    The quality of persons, and the time,
    And, like the haggard, check at every feather
    That comes before his eye. This is a practice
    As full of labour as a wise man’s art:
    For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
    But wise men, folly-fall’n, quite taint their wit.

  27. Enter SIR TOBY and SIR ANDREW.

  28. Sir Toby:

    Save you, gentleman.

  29. Cesario (Viola):

    And you sir.

  30. Sir Andrew:

    Dieu vous garde, monsieur.

  31. Cesario (Viola):

    Et vous aussi, votre serviteur!

  32. Sir Andrew:

    I hope sir, you are, and I am yours.

  33. Sir Toby:

    Will you encounter the house? My niece is desirous you should enter, if your trade be to her.

  34. Cesario (Viola):

    I am bound to your niece, sir. I mean, she is the list of my voyage.

  35. Sir Toby:

    Taste your legs sir, put them to motion.

  36. Cesario (Viola):

    My legs do better understand me, sir, than I understand what you mean by bidding me taste my legs.

  37. Sir Toby:

    I mean, to go, sir, to enter.

  38. Cesario (Viola):

    I will answer you with gait and entrance—but we are prevented.

    Enter OLIVIA, and MARIA.


    Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain odours on you.

  39. Sir Andrew:

    [Aside.] That youth’s a rare courtier. 'Rain odours,' well.

  40. Cesario (Viola):

    My matter hath no voice, lady, but to your own most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.

  41. Sir Andrew:

    [Aside.] 'Odours', 'pregnant', and 'vouchsafed'. I’ll get ’em all three all ready.

  42. Olivia:

    Let the garden door be shut, and leave me to my hearing.     


    Give me your hand sir.

  43. Cesario (Viola):

    My duty, madam, and most humble service.

  44. Olivia:

    What is your name?

  45. Cesario (Viola):

    Cesario is your servant’s name, fair princess.

  46. Olivia:

    My servant, sir? ’Twas never merry world
    Since lowly feigning was called compliment.
    Y’are servant to the Count Orsino, youth.

  47. Cesario (Viola):

    And he is yours, and his must needs be yours.
    Your servant’s servant is your servant, madam.

  48. Olivia:

    For him, I think not on him. For his thoughts,
    Would they were blanks rather than filled with me.

  49. Cesario (Viola):

    Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts
    On his behalf.

  50. Olivia:

    O by your leave, I pray you.
    I bade you never speak again of him.
    But would you undertake another suit,
    I had rather hear you to solicit that
    Than music from the spheres.

  51. Cesario (Viola):

    Dear lady—

  52. Olivia:

    Give me leave, I beseech you. I did send,
    After the last enchantment you did here,
    A ring in chase of you. So did I abuse
    Myself, my servant and, I fear me, you.
    Under your hard construction must I sit,
    To force that on you in a shameful cunning
    Which you knew none of yours. What might you think?


    Have you not set mine honour at the stake,
    And baited it with all th’unmuzzled thoughts
    That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving
    Enough is shown. A cypress, not a bosom,
    Hides my heart. So, let me hear you speak.

  53. Cesario (Viola):

    I pity you.

  54. Olivia:

    That’s a degree to love.

  55. Cesario (Viola):

    No, not a grize. For ’tis a vulgar proof
    That very oft we pity enemies.

  56. Olivia:

    Why then methinks ’tis time to smile again.
    O world, how apt the poor are to be proud!
    If one should be a prey, how much the better
    To fall before the lion than the wolf.    A clock strikes.
    The clock upbraids me with the waste of time.
    Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have you.
    And yet when wit and youth is come to harvest,
    Your wife is like to reap a proper man.
    There lies your way, due west.

  57. Cesario (Viola):

    Then westward ho!
    Grace and good disposition attend your Ladyship.
    You’ll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?

  58. Olivia:

    Stay. I prithee tell me what thou think’st of me.

  59. Cesario (Viola):

    That you do think you are not what you are.

  60. Olivia:

    If I think so, I think the same of you.

  61. Cesario (Viola):

    Then think you right: I am not what I am.

  62. Olivia:

    I would you were as I would have you be.

  63. Cesario (Viola):

    Would it be better, madam, than I am?
    I wish it might, for now I am your fool.

  64. Olivia:

    O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful
    In the contempt and anger of his lip.
    A murd’rous guilt shows not itself more soon
    Than love that would seem hid. Love’s night is noon.
    — Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
    By maidhood, honour, truth, and everything,
    I love thee. So that maugre all thy pride,
    Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.
    Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,
    For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause.
    But rather reason thus with reason fetter;
    Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.

  65. Cesario (Viola):

    By innocence I swear, and by my youth,
    I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth,
    And that no woman has, nor never none
    Shall mistress be of it, save I alone.
    And so adieu, good madam, never more
    Will I my master’s tears to you deplore.

  66. Olivia:

    Yet come again, for thou perhaps mayst move
    That heart which now abhors, to like his love.

    They exit at different doors.